13 Replies Latest reply on Oct 6, 2008 11:23 PM by jjamieson

    How to use Physical Hard Drive or it's partitions with VMWare server 2 ? (Linux)

    ad-test Novice

      Or, if it's imposible, can I use Physical Hard Drive with VMWare Player?

       

      Please, help.

        • 1. Re: How to use Physical Hard Drive or it's partitions with VMWare server 2 ? (Linux)
          wila Guru
          User ModeratorsCommunity Warriors

          Not much is impossible, but it can sure be tricky. This is possible for example with the workstation product.

          Configuring Dual- or Multiple-Boot Systems to Run with Workstation

           

          So you could possibly use a beta of that product in order to get your basic virtual machine set up?

          But before you go that way...

          What is the reason to want to have direct access to a physical harddrive?

          Have you considered adding a NFS share to your disk and sharing it -directly- over the network?

           



          --

          Wil

           

          edit: fixed description on link

          | Author of Vimalin. The VMware Fusion Backup app for virtual machines |
          | More info at http://www.vimalin.com |
          | Twitter @wilva |
          | Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com |
          | http://www.vimalin.com/why-is-time-machine-not-a-good-backup-for-virtual-machines/ |
          • 2. Re: How to use Physical Hard Drive or it's partitions with VMWare server 2 ? (Linux)
            ad-test Novice

            Thanx.

             

            First of all: English is not my native language so excuse me if something I've wrote is hard to understand.

             

            There is Ubuntu Linux installed on the PC. I use it, and i like it

            Not so long ago i've bought a scanner and it doesn't work with Linux at all, but I have an MS Windows Home (Box) and i want to install it on my hard drive.

            Usually I use Ubuntu, but from time to time I need to scan something. If I dont want to reboot, I should try virtualization.

            I've seen VMWare Server 1.0.5 or near, and there was an ability to use physical hard drive.

            So, i,ve download latest VMWare Server (2), and there is no choice. Only virtual drives.

            So, it means, if I'll install MS Windows onto virtual drive, I'll not be able to boot into MS Windows directly if I want to.

             

            But I would like to be able to boot to MS Windows from time to time.

            Is it possible to use my hard drive directly with the latest VMWare Server or VMWare Player?

             

            I'm trying now: VMWare server 2.0.0, build 116503

            • 3. Re: How to use Physical Hard Drive or it's partitions with VMWare server 2 ? (Linux)
              wila Guru
              User ModeratorsCommunity Warriors

              Well you don't need to be able to have direct access to your physical harddrive for that at all. In fact.. I do the exact same thing on one of my Ubuntu machines in order to be able to use a HP scanner. You simply install vmware server, then create a windows virtual machine and that virtual machine has direct access to the USB port on which you have the scanner.

              The only thing you would want is to share the results back to your Ubuntu host which you can do via the network. 

               

              The advantage of using VMware server 2 over the 1.0.x version is that it is able to use USB 2.x devices whereas the 1.0.x version can only use USB 1.x devices.

               

              I haven't tested if you an still use the physical drive setup, but I strongly suspect it is only missing the option in the user interface as that has been redesigned from scratch. I strongly doubt that VMware has actually removed the capability of being able to do that. This is why I suggested using a VMware workstation beta in order to setup your basic virtual machine and then "upgrade" to VMware server 2.x.



              --

              Wil

              | Author of Vimalin. The VMware Fusion Backup app for virtual machines |
              | More info at http://www.vimalin.com |
              | Twitter @wilva |
              | Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com |
              | http://www.vimalin.com/why-is-time-machine-not-a-good-backup-for-virtual-machines/ |
              • 4. Re: How to use Physical Hard Drive or it's partitions with VMWare server 2 ? (Linux)
                ad-test Novice

                Thanx a lot.

                 

                By the way, There are nothing about direct access to hard drive in the official manual to VMWare Server.

                I think it's possible that direct access to hard drive was removed/disabled at all.

                • 5. Re: How to use Physical Hard Drive or it's partitions with VMWare server 2 ? (Linux)
                  wila Guru
                  User ModeratorsCommunity Warriors

                  Very unlikely as removing a feature also means extra work for VMware and normally all of the virtual machines are portable between the vmware products.

                   

                  This is also one reason on why you would want to not have a physical install, it is more of a hassle to maintain and you cannot simply copy the VM to your new machine when you get one.

                  Beware also that if you re-use a virtual machine between virtual and physical that you probably will have to re-activate your windows as well as the whole hardware stack has changed. All devices will be virtual when booting it within vmware and non-virtual when booting native.

                  The reason on reactivate or not depends on the windows version used and the type of windows license that you have (OEM or Volume license key, etcetera)



                  --

                  Wil

                   

                  edit: It is most likely not documented as there is no UI option for it.

                   

                  Thanks for the points!

                  | Author of Vimalin. The VMware Fusion Backup app for virtual machines |
                  | More info at http://www.vimalin.com |
                  | Twitter @wilva |
                  | Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com |
                  | http://www.vimalin.com/why-is-time-machine-not-a-good-backup-for-virtual-machines/ |
                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: How to use Physical Hard Drive or it's partitions with VMWare server 2 ? (Linux)
                    philipz Lurker

                     

                    Yes, It's posible. Just Create New Virtual Machine, then modify the XXX.vmx file directly.

                     

                     

                    Copy the below text that include the old vmx file,

                     

                     

                    scsi0:0.present = "TRUE"

                    scsi0:0.fileName = "XXXXX.vmdk"

                    scsi0:0.deviceType = "rawDisk"

                     

                     

                    then, modify the "scsi0:0" above text in the new vmx

                     

                     

                    OK, the machine can start.

                     

                     

                    • 7. Re: How to use Physical Hard Drive or it's partitions with VMWare server 2 ? (Linux)
                      ad-test Novice

                      Yes, I have to agree with you, cause I think MS will require activation again, when it will be started up in another machine OMG.

                      I've forgotten about this wonderful feature of MS windows

                       

                      Thanx for remember me about the activation feature.

                      • 8. Re: How to use Physical Hard Drive or it's partitions with VMWare server 2 ? (Linux)
                        ad-test Novice

                        I've tried to find in all files of VMWare server for the phrase "rawDisk".

                        And I've find only something about RawDiskExceptionENotSupported.

                         

                        I've tried this method, but it doesn't gave nor result nor an error (strange, but it is).

                         

                        But I hope I'll try to look this solution more carefully, cause I think such changes in configuration file must cause VMWare Server to show at least an error

                         

                        Thanx a lot.

                        • 9. Re: How to use Physical Hard Drive or it's partitions with VMWare server 2 ? (Linux)
                          wila Guru
                          Community WarriorsUser Moderators

                          But it can work... as this is what is being used for VMware Fusion (Mac OS X) as well, it works very nicely for me, so I do understand your need.

                          It's great being able to use the full potential of your graphics card at time.

                           

                          Let me give you another tip...

                          If your windows is OEM then there's this neat little trick you can use in your VMX file in order to have the SMBIOS vendor string of the virtual BIOS getting exposed to your Windows VM. This might help in stopping the activation logic, it has worked for me on a Fujitsu Siemens laptop.

                          Simply add the following line to the vmx file of your VM.

                          SMBIOS.reflectHost = TRUE
                          

                           

                          Here's the VMware official document on the setting: Modifying the SMBIOS UUID

                          and yes that still works



                          --

                          Wil

                           

                          edit: Forgot to say that it doesn't work with all OEM windows versions, but if your windows was licensed with your PC then there's a reasonable chance, it depends on the manufacturer among others.. good to try if you have some time to burn or if you like to experiment a bit.

                          | Author of Vimalin. The VMware Fusion Backup app for virtual machines |
                          | More info at http://www.vimalin.com |
                          | Twitter @wilva |
                          | Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com |
                          | http://www.vimalin.com/why-is-time-machine-not-a-good-backup-for-virtual-machines/ |
                          • 10. Re: How to use Physical Hard Drive or it's partitions with VMWare server 2 ? (Linux)
                            ad-test Novice

                            I'd like to try this method   But I can't use the direct access to physical drive with this version of the VMWare Server

                            And I would like to know if the developers have completely removed the physical drive access, or it is just some little troubles on the way to Great and Strong VMWare Server 3...

                             

                            I dont know if the physical drive access is working with VMWare Player.

                             

                            But if the direct access works with player - it can be removed in player v2.5, for example. If the direct access to hard drive is not needed by 99% users, this feature will "die". And, cause VMWare server 2 is not so new (it is allowed to download more than 5 days), but noone say "where is my direct access to hard drive?" - I think this feature it "dead"   or I have lost something and did not enabled this kind of hard driive access.

                            • 11. Re: How to use Physical Hard Drive or it's partitions with VMWare server 2 ? (Linux)
                              wila Guru
                              User ModeratorsCommunity Warriors

                              Sorry I don't have the time to experiment on this myself now, the bottom poster said it still works and I assume he has tried it....

                              This was why I pointed you to the VMware workstation product and install a beta version, it allows you to generate the required virtual machine and settings you need for the machine in order to properly test it with VMware server. It just means that you do not have to go and experiment by handediting the vmx file. It is easy to make mistakes, especially if you are a bit new.

                              Yes if there are errors in the vmx it gets reported normally, but you'll find them in the vmware.log if you make a typo, but it might silently drop some too.

                              If vmware server then doesn't work with this then vmware player will as that one comes along with VMware workstation, so it better work



                              --

                              Wil

                              | Author of Vimalin. The VMware Fusion Backup app for virtual machines |
                              | More info at http://www.vimalin.com |
                              | Twitter @wilva |
                              | Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com |
                              | http://www.vimalin.com/why-is-time-machine-not-a-good-backup-for-virtual-machines/ |
                              • 12. Re: How to use Physical Hard Drive or it's partitions with VMWare server 2 ? (Linux)
                                mogmios Novice

                                In Unix/Linux at least a hard drive or partition is represented as a file so I'd imagine it'd work just fine to substitute the drive/partition path for your file path.

                                • 13. Re: How to use Physical Hard Drive or it's partitions with VMWare server 2 ? (Linux)
                                  jjamieson Enthusiast
                                  wila wrote:

                                  But it can work... as this is what is being used for VMware Fusion (Mac OS X) as well, it works very nicely for me, so I do understand your need.

                                  It's great being able to use the full potential of your graphics card at time.

                                  Unfortunately, VMware Server 2.0 has removed the "PhysicalDisk" type from the UI.  I do not yet know if it is possible to use it by manually editing the vmx or using some other undocumented feature.  This is a feature that I use quite a bit in VMware Workstation and Server 1.x.   If there is a way to do it in VMware Server 2.0 it is not obvious.   From what I've read, you can still use your old Physical Disk .vmdk files; but it does not appear you can create new ones (and not with vmware-vdiskmanager either.)

                                   

                                   

                                  You can do physical disk luns in all other versions of VMware (except Fusion, although you're saying you can do this manually with the vmx in a different way than other VMware products) so I really hope to be able to continue to do this with Server 2.0.